0L paralegal, Is sending unsoliciated resumes a good idea?

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jfadamson

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0L paralegal, Is sending unsoliciated resumes a good idea?

Postby jfadamson » Wed Oct 17, 2018 5:38 pm

I am currently a paralegal, and planning to attend school in Fall 2019. I have narrowed down my choices, and have a pretty good idea of where I would like to attend school. The school is not well-known or popular by any means, but I like the area, and wouldn't mind living there working in a small-medium sized firm.

I am about to leave my current job as a paralegal, with hopes of getting another legal job in the city which I would like to attend law school. I am considering sending out letters, and an unsolicited resume to small-medium sized law firms in the prospective city. I hope to find a firm that is interested in investing long-term into a relationship, to hopefully taking me on as a summer associate, and hopefully one day partner.

Is outlining these intentions in a letter a plausible idea to land a pre-law gig in the prospective city? Also, would it be a bad idea to also seek scholarship funds through this avenue of working for a firm?

basketofbread

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Re: 0L paralegal, Is sending unsoliciated resumes a good idea?

Postby basketofbread » Wed Oct 17, 2018 9:09 pm

Are you planning on working in your first year of law school? That is pretty inadvisable.

A couple of people from my class have gotten SA's at places they were paralegals at, but generally they had worked there for several years prior. It's perfectly possible that you develop a relationship over the course of a single year that gets your foot in the door; but if you work during 1L, you'll be handicapping yourself from grades.

Why don't you just work on getting good grades, networking (not working), and get a SA that way?

nixy

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Re: 0L paralegal, Is sending unsoliciated resumes a good idea?

Postby nixy » Wed Oct 17, 2018 10:29 pm

jfadamson wrote:Is outlining these intentions in a letter a plausible idea to land a pre-law gig in the prospective city? Also, would it be a bad idea to also seek scholarship funds through this avenue of working for a firm?

My sense is that the answer to the first question is no and the second is yes:

- most firms won't have any idea now whether they're going to need someone to work for them at the time you graduate. If they need a non-lawyer, they need a non-lawyer, and may not want to hire someone into that position who's going to run off to law school at some point. They don't know what school you're going to end up attending or how you're going to do there. Basically it's way way way too prospective/far-off and not the way that firms go about hiring lawyers.

- firms almost never fund law students. The only exceptions I've seen are people doing patent prosecution (agent jobs? I forget what it's called) who get their JDs funded to move into an actual patent lawyer job (this requires having the hard science background to go into IP). VERY VERY VERY occasionally someone who's already at a firm will decide to go to law school and the firm will pay for them to, say, go part time and keep working at the firm. But this is usually someone who has a reasonably long-standing relationship with a firm first, and is not at all common. Applying to a firm for money without having a relationship with them already is not going to go anywhere at all.

jfadamson

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Re: 0L paralegal, Is sending unsoliciated resumes a good idea?

Postby jfadamson » Thu Oct 18, 2018 10:47 am

basketofbread wrote:Are you planning on working in your first year of law school? That is pretty inadvisable.

A couple of people from my class have gotten SA's at places they were paralegals at, but generally they had worked there for several years prior. It's perfectly possible that you develop a relationship over the course of a single year that gets your foot in the door; but if you work during 1L, you'll be handicapping yourself from grades.

Why don't you just work on getting good grades, networking (not working), and get a SA that way?


No, I do not plan on working once school starts.

jfadamson

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Re: 0L paralegal, Is sending unsoliciated resumes a good idea?

Postby jfadamson » Thu Oct 18, 2018 10:52 am

nixy wrote:
jfadamson wrote:Is outlining these intentions in a letter a plausible idea to land a pre-law gig in the prospective city? Also, would it be a bad idea to also seek scholarship funds through this avenue of working for a firm?

My sense is that the answer to the first question is no and the second is yes:

- most firms won't have any idea now whether they're going to need someone to work for them at the time you graduate. If they need a non-lawyer, they need a non-lawyer, and may not want to hire someone into that position who's going to run off to law school at some point. They don't know what school you're going to end up attending or how you're going to do there. Basically it's way way way too prospective/far-off and not the way that firms go about hiring lawyers.

- firms almost never fund law students. The only exceptions I've seen are people doing patent prosecution (agent jobs? I forget what it's called) who get their JDs funded to move into an actual patent lawyer job (this requires having the hard science background to go into IP). VERY VERY VERY occasionally someone who's already at a firm will decide to go to law school and the firm will pay for them to, say, go part time and keep working at the firm. But this is usually someone who has a reasonably long-standing relationship with a firm first, and is not at all common. Applying to a firm for money without having a relationship with them already is not going to go anywhere at all.


Couldn't hurt to spread my name, and make solid connections.

I'm always pestering my current boss about giving me law school funds, but we have that kind of relationship. Thanks for answer!

nixy

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Re: 0L paralegal, Is sending unsoliciated resumes a good idea?

Postby nixy » Thu Oct 18, 2018 12:46 pm

Yes - you have a relationship with your current boss that’s you don’t have with places that haven’t hired you yet.

Also apparently your boss hasn’t given you any such funding or you wouldn’t be asking now.

It certainly makes sense to spread your name/make connections, but you have to make a good impression for that to be productive. You don’t want to be “that weirdo who kept asking us hire them in 4 years/to pay for law school.”



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